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What the Heck – Another Hypothetical.

 
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: What the Heck – Another Hypothetical. Reply with quote

HMS Defence joins Cradock before the fateful rendezvous at Cornell. Does this change the outcome? How does this change the outcome and why?
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What little I know of Coronel is that the seas were against Craddock. One thing strikes me - the British were outgunned at range.

Good Hope being able to bring to bear 2 x 9.2" guns while Scharnhorst & Gneisenau could train 12 x 8.2" guns. Good Hope's secondary battery was apparently worthless in most weather and she was manned by relatively green reservists. Monmouth was outgunned and out-ranged and most of her 6" armament was un-usable.

Maybe Defence's 4 x 9.2" guns would have made a difference? From what I read though the German shooting was pretty good (or pretty lucky). And if Defence had caught up then it would have been fighting the same rough seas as the rest of the squadron. And sillhouetted against the setting sun. And still outgunned at range.

Perhaps the question which ought to be asked is what if Canopus had joined? During the battle Craddock purposely turned towards her in a futile gesture of escape, even though she was 300 miles away. What if she had been closer and happened across the aftermath of the battle - and the German squadron?
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canopus is also an interesting hypothetical. I read something about this possibility -- Cradock tethering his faster ships to Canopus. The conclusion being that Von Spee with his superior speed would have slipped around Cradock and headed for Cape Horn and the Atlantic.

For giggles this is how the numbers tally up...

German OoB

Gneisnau 6 x 8.2" + 3 x 6" (Broadside)
6-3in belt, 7in barbettes, 7in turret faces, 2.5-1.5in decks
23.5 Knots

Scharnhorst 6 x 8.2" + 3 x 6" (Broadside)
6-3in belt, 7in barbettes, 7in turret faces, 2.5-1.5in decks
23.5 Knots

Leipzig 5 x 4.1” (Broadside)
3-1in decks, 2in gun shields
23.3 Knots

Dresden 5 x 4.1” (Broadside)
1.5-0.5in decks, 2in gun shields
25.2 knots

Nόrnberg 5 x 4.1” (Broadside)
1.5-0.5in decks, 2in gun shields
23.4 knots

=========================================
British OoB

Good Hope 2 x 9.2”, 4 x 6” (Broadside -- assuming lower gun deck of 6” awash)
6-2in belt, 6in barbettes, 6in turret faces, 2.5-1in decks
23 knots

Monmouth 6 x 6” (Broadside -- assuming lower gun deck of 6” awash)
4-2in belt, 5in barbettes, 5in turret faces, 2-0.5in decks
23 knots

Glasgow 2 x 6” and 5 x 4” (Broadside)
2-0.5in decks
26 Knots

(Otranto 4 x 4.7”)

==========================
Hypothetical British OoB(+)

Defence 4 x 9.2" and 5 x 7.5" (Broadside)
6-3in belt, 7-3in barbettes, 8in turret faces, 1.5-0.5in decks
23 knots

OR:

Canopus
4 x 12” and 2 x 6” (Broadside assuming lower gun deck awash)
6in belt, 12in barbettes, 8in turret faces, 2.5in decks
13knots? -- 15knots?
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bargami



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:12 am    Post subject: ...the "Defence" and Coronel Reply with quote

One thing to bear in mind. Whatever one may think of Cradock's acumen,
"he" felt that he needed "Defence" to accomplish the task he'd been given,
seek out and destroy (if possible), which would require the speed to run down. "Canopus," at-all-events at the 12-knot max. speed she was believed to possess, was no good for this. He requested "Defense" and was refused, with no mention of his stated intention to not wait-up "Canopus." Another instance of a sloppy Admiralty telegram possibly
affecting events in a major way.
And ironically, "into the void," the Admiralty changed their mind! Into
a silent sea goes a telegram saying "Defence" is on the way!
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